C&B BOOKS, was started in 1995, by Carol Rogers & Brenda Piper.The motivation behind this book business, was the lack of affordable books written by black authors.  We decided to become an asset to our Youth and the African American community in a whole.  We offer our books for less then the major stores, we knew this would provide our readers with a wider variety of reading material. We have, titles for all ages in all catagories, fiction, non-fiction, spiritual, inspirational, educational etc.

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Joey Pinkney - C&B Reviewer

Joey Pinkney is an avid reader. If it has words, he'll peruse it. Books, magazines...junk mail -- it doesn't matter. Growing up, his thirst for knowledge and his desire to own books was always encouraged by this parents. His room was filled with encyclopedias, Child Craft, etc.

Some of his best childhood memories were his middle school years where his mother allowed him to go to the main library after school. Many hours were spent walking down aisle after aisle, reading everything from history to current events, atlases to almanacs.

Joey Pinkney has a book collection currently spans three states (Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina) and totals more than a thousand. And his collections continues to grow.

His love to read and share what he has found will be a valuable asset to C & B Distribution as we continue to strive to give you the best in literature at the best prices.

Please send books for review to:

C&B Book Reviewer -
c/o Joey Pinkney
152 N. Montague St.
Garner, NC 27529

Queen Torn Animated Objects Female Traits Not Even If You Begged Consumed
Being Full of Light Frenemeies King of Stowevillage Please Return My Phone Call Redrum Keys of Destiny
Good To The Last Drop
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Good To The Last Drop
Title:Good To The Last Drop
Author:Elissa Gabrielle
Retail Price: $16.00
C&B Price: $12.00

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There are three kinds of books. There is the book with a plot you can predict. Then there is the book where you can't figure out the plot, but you end up shaking your head in disgust as the scenarios unfold. Finally, there is the book that is totally unpredictable yet is able to provide thoroughly amusing surprises. Elissa Gabrielle's debut novel falls into the third category. Good to the Last Drop contains a world as strange as the secret lives we lead--all the way to the end.

Good to the Last Drop follows Amber through the first couple of months after her marriage to the love of her life Khalil Devereaux. Khalil cheated on Amber numerous times while they were in college. The fun stops when he meets up with the shameless Shayla McNeil. His involvement with the insatiable Shayla is both intense and inexcusable. His moments of infidelity result in a daughter, Lexis, and a mentally annihilated Amber.

Since that incident, Khalil is a man is trying his best to live down the embarrassment of his indiscretions. The distance he keeps from Shayla makes her eternally bitter and perpetually available to Khalil's sexual advances.This voracious vixen is the type that unknowingly lives up to the phrase "you can take the rat out of the hood, but you can't take the hood out of the rat". That same distance makes Khalil a long-distance phone call father; one that Lexis couldn't identify in a police line up if Khalil's life depended on it.

Shawn is a college buddy to both Amber and Khalil. He is really the glue to Khalil's relationship with both Amber and Shayla. Shawn is the voice of reason when Khalil fails to guide himself. He was the shoulder to cry on when Amber was devastated by Khalil indiscretions. Shawn not only convinced Amber to take Khalil back; he stays in contact with Shayla and even visits Lexis on Khalil's behalf. He finally finds the love of his life with Aaliyah, a beautiful model that has a mysterious past.

Gabrielle's cast of characters are rounded out by Amber's friends Keisha and Scott. Keisha is a close friend from Amber's job at a convalescent home. She is a dark skinned bomb shell that works as hard as she kicks it. Scott is the flamboyant diva that has no shame in his game. He is classy in style and quick with the quips. Both friends subconsciously fight for Amber's attention and time. When in each others presence, they shoot the dozens like nobodies business.

Gabrielle's writing style is multifarious. She can make her readers cry just as easy as she can elicit laughter. Sometimes she is able to get the reader to do both at the same time. For example, the scene where Amber visits Khalil's mother for the first time since being married is classic. Written from Amber's perspective, this scene was funny and touching at the same time. Amber's dislike for Khalil's mother only rivals in hilarity Amber's apprehension towards Khalil's fast-talking, crack head sister.

Gabrielle took a very interesting approach to telling the story of Amber Devereaux. Although Amber is the central character, each chapter is told through the perspective of the characters who are closest to Amber. Gabrielle was able to keep each character's voice distinctive and true to their way of thinking regardless of character's sexual orientation or gender.

Gabrielle's characters and their situations will come alive in front of your eyes. The synergistic effect of letting each character tell their portion of Good to the Last Drop was a very powerful. The characters' individual stories gave Good to the Last Drop a totality that simply can not be achieved by the voice of Amber alone. With their stories combined, the characters of Good to the Last Drop created an intoxicating world of inhibitions, intimacies and ironic incidents.

Joey Pinkney
C&B Books Reviewer

5 out of 5 stars


Keys of Destiny
Title:Keys of Destiny
Author:Adin Kachisi
Retail Price: $15.00
C&B Price: $14.00

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When a novel has a bibliography, you know you are about to embark on a journey that aims to separate fact from fiction. Keys of Destiny is Adin Kachisi's fourth novel. He delves deep the ancient cultures of the world, showing how they connect present-day societies and current events. From beginning to end, Keys of Destiny pushes the reader to a broader understanding of the world, both geographically and spiritually.

Keys of Destiny is able to keep your attention regardless of your level of knowledge of world history. If you are totally unfamiliar with ancient history, conspiracy theories and secret societies, you will stand to learn a lot about how different religions and groups of people from various time periods are connected. If you are well-versed in historical studies, Key of Destiny is a refreshing utilization of nonfiction in a fictitious setting.

The main character, Kazra Moore, is a professor at City College in New York City. He is educated and trained in Western philosophies. He is overwhelmed by his spiritual awareness of the shift that slowly takes place around him. Things like this preoccupation with the number 11 and the Mayan apocalyptic theory involving the year 2012 seems to be related but Kazra cannot figure out why. Things begin to unfold when he gets a phone call from Rick, his favorite student. Rick's uncle is a Creek Elder and wants to meet Kazra.

That meeting with Uncle Yuccah in Carterville, GA, proves to be much more than Kazra could have imagined. The sacred crystals, known as the Keys of Destiny, are scattered around the globe and must be gathered and brought back to the Creek Elder Yuccah to initiate an aspect the Purification ceremony which will eliminate the negative energy stuck on the Earth's physical plane. Otherwise, two-thirds of humanity will perish in the Earth's natural cleansing process. This is the same purification previously prophesied by many ancient cultures and currently seen manifested in the natural and man-made disasters around the world.

Yuccah already possesses one of the keys. It's Kazra's spiral-shaped birthmark reveals him to be the person who has the task of gathering the three remaining keys. Kazra must use his spiritual awareness and deductive reasoning to figure out where in the world to go literally. Kazra travels from the United States to Ireland to Ethiopia to Zimbabwe to Korea. He is lead to each location by by his intuition and connects with religious and historical scholars at each location who are able to connect him with the keys he needs. Each location is beautiful but equally dangerous since Kazra is followed by the Illuminate Order of Kingu, an evil cult in search of the same Keys.

Great dialog and attention to detail makes this novel easy to read and hard to put down. Although many of the conversations are intellectual in nature, Adin Kachisi allows the characters to give you the facts in easy-to-digest, bite-sized chunks. He has also mastered the use of imagery that is so vivid, you can mentally visualize the natural settings, peoples and languages. You can also picture the supernatural beings, both good and evil. These characters are sprinkled throughout the story and easily transform Keys of Destiny from National Geographic to X. Files and back again.

Joey Pinkney
C&B Books Reviewer

5 out of 5 stars


Retail Price: $15.00
C&B Price: $14.00

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South Jamaica Queens couldn't get any bloodier...

Mike and Daquan are cousins by blood, but become brothers by circumstance. In a New York minute, Mike is exposed to the death of his uncle Will at an early age. That same death equally affects Daquan, whose father (Mike's uncle) was snatched away without warning. Daquan and Mike take to naturally take to hustling in the streets of Jamaica Queens in their late teens.

Their crew is rounded out by Sean and Kevin. The four teenagers find a dead spot on 118th and begin to turn it into an empire. The only problem is that they are cutting into the profits of the nearby drug gang known as the Young Gunz. Fronted by drug lord BK, Mike and his crew are hungry to make it happen. With BK as their supplier, they have the materials and the clout to take over the block. Things are moving, and money is being made hand over fist.

Mike happens to recognize one of Will's murderer in the strip club Dreams, and sets in motions a chain reaction of murders that rock Queens. Mike uses his girlfriend Tyasia, the most popular stripper in the club, to get Sha-Money sloppily drunk and back to his house. Once Tyasia gets him there, the 118th crew swoops in for the kill and disappear into the night.

The cop duo known as "Tom and Jerry" are hot on the 118th crew's trail, due to Tyasia dropping her purse in Sha-Money's house. The Young Gunz murder BK and focus on erasing the 118th crew to eliminate competition. The 118th crew is trying to make the last of their money before getting out of the game for good.

In a game of kill or be killed, eat or be eaten...can they survive the game long enough to get out of it? Or will they live up to the saying, "Live by the gun, die by the gun?"

Charazz wrote a great book. It's action packed, never gets dull and is a certified page turner. Redrum is equal parts murder, sex and morals. The editing could have been tightened, but nothing takes away from the great story.

4 out of 5 stars

Joey Pinkney
C&B Books Reviewer


Please Return My Phone Call
Title: Please Return My Phone Call
Author:Malik Yoba and Akoshia Yoba
Retail Price: $22.95
C&B Price: $19.00

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When you think of Malik Yoba, what's the first thing that comes to your mind? New York Undercover. Me too! Well, that same Malik Yoba has teamed up with his sister, Akoshia Yoba, to write a great book on the importance of proper telephone etiquette. Whether you sell a product, a service or your skills, "Please Return My Phone Call!" will be a perfect addition to your library's arsenal.

Follow through is of key importance in both business and pleasure. Many of us simply lack the motivation to call people back in a timely manner. In the business world, this can have a serious effect on our profitability. Socially, this can lead to a reputation of being flaky. By the time you finish reading this book, you will definitely have the tools needed to develop a "can-do" attitude and standout from the rest.

There are many anecdotes and personal examples about how real professionals feel about the lack of proper phone etiquette given by business associates and friends of the Yobas. The inclusion of these experiences help reinforce the reality of principles the authors convey.

"Please Return My Phone Call!" points out that many of us make the mistake of treating our business lives like our personal lives. Culturally, it's acceptable to say "Let me call you back" without the intention of doing so.

My two favorite chapters of Malik and Akoshia Yoba's "Please Return My Phone Call!" are 'Chapter 7 Situational Ethics' and Chapter 8 'It's a Numbers Game'. Situational Ethics, simply put, is the habit of letting what's going on around you affect how you react to a situation. This can pose a serious threat to your effectiveness in the work place.

Here are two examples of Situational Ethics: If the pastor of your church asked you to call him back the next morning at 8:35 am, you wouldn't be able to get a wink of sleep the night before. On the flip side, most of us have the hardest time being punctual to the morning services, let alone the morning classes.

In contrast, if a client asked to be called back at 8:35 am the next morning, there is a possibility the call won't be made on time, if it's made at all. Also, you are more likely to be at work on time almost every time as if..your job depended on it. 'Situational Ethics' explains the importance of being consistent because your reputation and how that consistency leads to higher profits.

Chapter 8 'It's a Numbers Game' is all about being persistent and illustrates this attitude with three rules: 80/20, 95/5 and 3 000/1. No, these are not improper fractions... You may have heard of the 80/20 rule. It's where 20 percent of your efforts yields 80 percent of out results. For example, out of 100 callbacks, 20 of those callbacks will provide us with 80 percent of out profits.

The 95/5 rule is stated as success being 5 percent inspiration and 95 percent perspiration. It's indisputable that it takes more than talent to make our dreams and desires come true. It takes blood, sweat and tears to make dreams come true, not just sitting around and talking about your dream.

The 3 000/1 rule states that it takes 3,000 pounds of gold ore to produce 1 pound of pure gold. In other words, you may have to go through 3,000 people to find that one person who can fulfill your dreams. That translates to you needing to calling back each and every person because not doing so may cause you lose out on the perfect deal.

This brother and sister collaboration was well put together. Akoshia Yoba's inclusion in this potent project was a great move. Holding a BA degree in English Literature, Akoshia Yoba has penned two novels and co-authored a memoir before helping brother Malik Yoba with "Please Return My Phone Call!". Malik Yoba is best known for his acting career, but that is literally the tip of the iceberg for this man's talent. He wears many hats as an actor of over 20 films, an author of another book, a nationally recognized motivational speaker, a restaurant owner, and an arts educator with over 20 years of experience.

"Please Return My Phone Call" is full of first-hand knowledge and timeless wisdom about increasing your profitability and building a solid, positive reputation. Malik and Akoshia's combined talents has produced a book that is thought-provoking with easy to follow guidelines that can exponentially improve the reader's life both financially and socially.

5 out of 5 stars

Joey Pinkney
C&B Books Reviewer


King of Stowevillage
Title: King of Stowevillage
Author:Conrad Glover
Retail Price: $14.95
C&B Price: $13.00

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King of Stowevillage is Conrad Glover's debut offering as a novelist. Well, established in the film industry, Conrad Glover has written, produced and directed four of his screenplays Bottom Out, Woods of Evil, Maya's Soul and Street Revenge. His talent for movie making is seamlessly transferred to the creation a novel with believable characters, detailed settings and unpredictable twists.

Meet Kilon Johnson a.k.a. "The Mayor" a.k.a. "King of Stowevillage" and soon to be released from the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, PA. Known as "The Big House," this penitentiary has kept infamous criminals such as Al Capone, Jimmy Hoffa and Alger Hiss. Although he is far from being a nationally known crook, Kilon's presence in the Lewisburg penitentiary is equal parts fear and respect.

Conrad Glover spares no expense at giving you the vivid, albeit harsh, details. You can smell the stench of stale cigarettes emanating from the mouths of the prison guards as they speak in a language that is unique to their world.

Glover perfectly depicts the hidden fears found in some of the inmates' false bravado and the sociopathic disconnect of others. Glover does not shield you from the rapes and deaths that run rampant in prison. Instead, the author gives you Kilon's world for what it is, straight up with no chaser.

Standing 6' 5'' with two-hundred twenty pounds of chiseled muscle on his frame, Kilon was far from being a pushover. He handles his business when he has to. He got the name "The Mayor" from his ability to diffuse situations diplomatically before letting it get out of hand. He is also in good standing with every gang in the Lewisburg penitentiary. Prisoners and prison guards alike stay out of his way. He is truly "an inmate's inmate."

Kilon finally gets to hit the bricks after doing a twenty piece for a string of armed robberies in the late 80s. Now pushing 40-years-old, Kilon is determined to use the knowledge of the thousands of books he read to "stay three steps ahead of everybody" and definitely out of trouble. He soon crosses paths with his old friend Cadillac, a hood hero turned heroine junkie. This is where his notion of staying out of trouble goes out the window.

Author Conrad Glover easily transfers the reader from the horror of prison to the dangers of the hood. Smelly junkies, henchmen mentally dulled by marijuana, meddling police officers and nosy neighbors are all in place in this action thriller. Stowevillage was one of the hardest housing projects in Hartford, CT. Although it has been remodeled since Kilon went to pay his debt to society, Stowevillage remains a drug-infested, violent area of town.

When Kilon gets back to his old stomping grounds, all of his running buddies are either dead or washed-up. The younger boys are running the streets now, and Kilon is more of a legend than a real person.

There is a new "King of Stowevillage," and his name is Ray. He has been running the projects for the past five years and has no plan of letting Kilon regaining his title. Slowly but surely, they inevitably bump heads and go at each other.

Ray becomes intensely jealous of Kilon's sexual relationship with Sonya, who is almost twenty years Kilon's junior. A former video vixen, Sonya is a gorgeous goddess in Stowevillage. She used to mess with Ray, but she dropped him off months before even knowing of Kilon's existence.

Sonya meets Kilon at his mother's house. Sonya has been taking care of Maybell for years. She becomes romantically involved with him despite the age difference and Kilon's dark past. Needless to say, Ray feels the old man stole his girl and has to pay...with his life.

Kilon also has a bone to pick with Ray. Kilon slowly puts two and two together when one of Ray's runners, Peteyboy, knocks on Maybell's door and retrieves a package from her. No big deal...except the fact that it is a kilo cocaine.

Kilon plans to kill two birds with one stone, no pun intended. He wants to steal Ray's cocaine, sell it to one of his prison buddies and move his mother and Sonya out of Stowevillage. He realizes he must kill Ray before that plan can become a reality.

King of Stowevillage is a battle between old school and new school, king versus king. Both men are trying to take the other one out without giving the cops hard-core evidence. As Ray's and Kilon's friends start falling to the wayside, your heart will race as different plots and subplots unravels. Stowevillage becomes a living chess board where getting put in checkmate equates to death or prison.

Conrad Glover has mastered the craft of story telling. His skill as a writer is pushed to the limits in this adventurous novel. Mix in a couple of tortuous deaths, steamy sexual encounters and unpredictable twists, and you have a page turner that will keep you captivated to the very end. This is one of those books that not so much street fiction but more so a great story that is set in the inner city. Enjoy.

4 out of 5 stars

Joey Pinkney
C&B Books Reviewer


Title: Consumed
Author:Linda D. Addison
Retail Price: $7.00
C&B Price: $6.00
ISBN-13: 978-0917053139

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Although only 31 poems, "Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes" takes the reader in a million different directions as author Linda Addison ponders life, death and the love between. While some of the poems in this book are disturbing, like "Mourning Meal," others are so personal that the reader may find themselves feeling like they are looking into a mirror more so than reading the words of another.

"Consumed..." has a dark energy, not to be confused with being evil nor depression. Darkness in the sense of being the opposite of ignorant bliss. For example, there are poems of love that are not lighthearted in nature.

Linda Addison composes these poems in a way that explores the depth of emotions that can be conjured when you give yourself up in totality to another person. "Before You" is such a poem. The relinquishing of the subject's independence is what we all experience on some level when we enter deeply into a relationship.

There are other poems in "Consumed..." that exposes the curiosity of the writer. Poems like "A Bare Tree in February," "Turning Edges" and "Breathe" ponder the origin of human existence in a way that only Linda Addison can render.

"Consumed..." is a personal collection of poetry that is timeless in its approach to be an offering of one's soul. The level of introspective creativity will call the reader to come back to the poems in this book time and again.

Joey Pinkney
C&B Books Reviewer


Being Full of Light
Title: Being Full of Light
Author:Linda D. Addison
Retail Price: $10.00
C&B Price: $9.00
ISBN-13: 978-0917053160

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Being Full of Light, Insubstantial is a poetry book that will take the willing reader to the edges of the universe. The boundaries of time and space are explored and transcended by the words in this collection.

Addison has a way of expressing the concrete with the same clarity as she does the abstract. A perfect example of this ability is the poem entitled "Mp3 Zen Buddhists." She breaks down the concept of our relationship with our mp3 players to achieve a state of thoughtlessness by drowning out the world with a noise of our choosing. Intertwining phrases like "meditation of the 21st Century" with "state of no-mind complete with a flick of a switch" contrives a subtle understanding to a current phenomenon.

Another example of Addison's talent to press the concrete and abstract together until they are one and the same is the poem "The Adventures of a Ghetto Child." She gives the reader the imagery needed to experience the imagination of a child while at the same time describing the harsh realities of living in an impoverished environment.

Addison's poems also bring out images of a person struggling to chip away the confining nature of our modern times in order to go back to a spiritual existence that is the basis of life. It's interesting to see how a person caught up in the hustle and bustle of life in the city tries to look past the now into the prehistory of human life. In "River Share," she writes "We share the same soul even as our breaths move separately/two billion exhales, inhales the River runs beneath our skin." Dancing takes Addison back to a primal past in "Belly Dancer" as she begins the poem with the following passage, "Gathering fire and wind earth and air to spark along the edges of my hips, fingers and waist."

Linda D. Addison has a mesmerizing control of the language and effortlessly reconstructs the past, present and future giving the reader to something digest and ponder. The beginning of this review mentions the "willing" reader. Only a person with an open, hungry mind can truly visualize the subliminal mission of this poetry collection to expand the experience of the beholder.

Joey Pinkney
C&B Books Reviewer


Title: Frenemies
Author: L. Divine
Retail Price: $9.95
C&B Price: $9.00
ISBN: 978-0758225320

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"Lust takes, love gives." Words to live by. This is the lesson that Mama gives Jayd in one of her dreams in the beginning pages of the fourth installment of the Drama High series. "Frenemies" picks up where Drama High #3, "Jayd's Legacy," leaves off, and author L. Divine seems to effortlessly capture the complex social environment most teens know simply as "high school."

This is not your regular blah blah blah teenie bopper novel for two reasons. First and foremost, L. Divine is a great writer who is able to convey the complexity of the social environment of high school without losing the reader in unimportant details. The other reason that Frenemies is a such an interesting read can be attributed to L. Divine's Master's Degree in African American Studies and Educational Psychology. Her educational background allows her to add layers to this series that the average writer would not think to explore.

Readers get to see the world through the green eyes of Jayd. She is doing her best to keep her grades together while her world swirls around her like an unrelenting tornado. Jayd juggles family members, friends, enemies, Advance Placement high school courses and her psychic powers. (But don't put her in the league with "That's So Raven"; Jayd's powers are a lot more serious...)

Ultimately, Frenemies is about seeing the difference between true friendship and false relationships. The two girls that round out Jayd's clique, Nellie and Mickey, go from being best friends to worst enemies. Mickey can't stand the fact that Nellie gets named Homecoming Princess and decides to get a new attitude to go with it. Jayd's main mission is to bring her friends back together at all costs.

Nellie now exclusively hangs out with Tania, another member of the homecoming court. Coming from a long line of powerful voodoo priestesses, Jayd get a shocking vision while dreaming. Her boyfriend Jeremy has recently got Tania pregnant. Can she really be mad after developing feelings for her ex-boyfriend Raheem after a brief, but passionate, kiss?

As Jayd slowly hones her skills and the spritual powers of being a Williams Woman, she must also find solutions to the problem that she has fully connecting to her boyfriend. Jeremy is half-Jewish, loves Alt Rock and is from a wealthy family. So why does Jayd, a black girl from Compton, bother with him? The answer is simply love. She has formed deep feelings for him, as he has for her. But is the differences in socio-economic background, cultures, religions and race too much for this high school couple to bear? Not if Jayd can help it...

The problem Jayd has with bringing everything together peacefully is the way she goes about achieving her goals. As a practitioner in the ways of Yoruban spirituality, Jayd's grandmother is teaching her how to properly use her powers. Jayd initially thinks that the potions that she is able to concoct will bend the will of her targets.

Her grandmother repeatedly explains to her that the secret in her powers and potions is not the affect they have on the target. What makes them work is the added confidence and awareness that they give to the person using the different spells and potions.

Readers of this series will not be let down; and those who are recently discover Drama High through this book with definitely want to pick up L. Divine's other offerings about the world according to Jayd aka Lady J.

Joey Pinkney
C&B Books Reviewer


Title: Queen
Author:Cynthia White
Retail Price: $15.00
C&B Price: $13.00
ISBN: 9780977880409
Publisher: Triple Crown

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Queen is the debut novel from one of Triple Crown Publications' newest authors, Cynthia White. The namesake of this alluring novel is daddy's little girl. Queen's daddy just happens to be Hershey Aaron, the Boss of St. Louis' most powerful organization, the Black Mafia. The murder of her unfaithful mother sends Hershey to death row and Queen's life on a tailspin full of lovers, killers and high-priced shopping sprees. Her striking beauty and intelligence are matched by her determination to keep alive the empire her father founded. But Queen is a teenager, exploring both her sexuality and her desire to love and be loved. The fine line that separates right from wrong is definitely blurred. What's a teenage daughter of a boss to do?

Queen must deal with cops trying to shut down her father's operation, various men vying for the opportunity to be her king, rival organizations on the come up, and her not wanting to turn into the deceased mother she despised. One thing is definitely true about this book. If you have to put it down for whatever reason, rest assured that something new and unexpected will develop when you start reading again.

Murder, sex and lies...these are the things that Queen must navigate through in order to survive. Love, life and liberty...these are the things that Queen slowly begins to realize are much more valuable. From manslaughter to motherhood, Queen struggles to make sense of the unyielding pace of her life.

Cynthia White has set the bar high for her future endeavors. This quality piece of street literature has aligned this new recruit with some of Triple Crown Publications' veteran squad in terms of talent. Full of high fashion, expensive jewelry, unorthodox plot twists, arousing sexual encounters and quality characters, Queen may be seen as a street lit classic in the future.

Joey Pinkney
C&B Books Reviewer


Author:Keisha Ervin
Retail Price: $15.00
C&B Price: $10.00
ISBN: 0977880494
Publisher: Triple Crown Publishing

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Torn follows the bittersweet relationship between lovestruck Mo and eternal-playboy Quan. The line between right and wrong in their relationship is hazy because Mo and Quan have invested nearly a decade of love, time and money in each other. Although the fruits of Quan's hustling is visible in the expensive house, cars and clothes, Mo would trade it all for a true bond of love from his heart to hers.

Mo's father and her friends, Quan's mother, and even Mo's own intuition tell her to move on, but her desire for Quan controls her actions. Quan, on the other hand, knows he isn't right, yet explodes at the very thought of Mo possibly being unfaithful. Their relationship is simultaneously passionate and pathetic, keeping you absorbed page after page. While they are saying "Yes, yes, yes!", you will be cringing and saying, "No, no, no!" When you add baby-momma-drama, shady friends and other love interests, Mo and Quan are forced to make life-changing decisions that will test whether or not they are soul mates.

Keisha Ervin's latest spin on love, life and lies is nothing less than incredible. Torn is street literature in its finest form. Keisha Ervin has written a story transcends its environment. Gunshots, crackheads and drug lords have been replaced with the sleepless nights, the phone calls that need to be taken in private and heart-to-heart advice that may hit home for some of the readers. There is even guest appearances by sisters Mina and Meesa, from Keisha Ervins's National Best Selling Novels Mina's Joint and Me & My Boyfriend respectively.

Keisha Ervin's Torn has added on to her remarkable repertoire and is a yet another Best Seller in the making, following Chyna Black, Me & My Boyfriend, Mina's Joint and Hold U Down . If you came across "After The Storm" in Triple Crown's second anthology Street Love, Torn is the breathtaking expansion on that short story. This is not book for quick consumption like an item off the dollar menu. Instead, this book is full of substance, a tale that you will not mind taking time to read and digest.

Joey Pinkney
C&B Books Reviewer


Animated Objects
Title:Animated Objects
Author: Linda Addison
Retail Price: $7.95
C&B Price: $7.95
Publisher: Space &Time

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From the poem Writing Magic:

      Some writers choose just a scant few
      to say a lifetime of feelings,

      While other writers
      gather thousands of words in a book
      to paint a few days of one life...

Animated Objects is Linda D. Addison's debut offering. This is a mesmerizing mixture of poetry and short stories, fables and science fiction, enchanting fantasies and harsh realities. It will take you on a journey and touch you in places long forgotten or never experienced.

What makes this collection such a treasure is that Addison is such a skillful writer. She is able to be true to herself and her art form while turning the reader's interpretation into participation. Her words can be as gentle as a mother's hand, as sharp as a razor, as rough as a nail file and as blunt as a hammer.

This book has something for everybody without that being its purpose. A perfect example of the universal appeal of Animated Objects is the inclusion of bits and pieces of her personal journals that encompass twenty-seven years of of hopes, trials and disasters.

Reading those snippets let's you see that which is usually hidden from the reader. You get to look past the writer as a person and instead get to look at the person as a writer. You get to peer into her world in a way that's as cryptic as the light of her Night Bird yet as forthcoming as the birth of one child and the miscarriage of another.

Joey Pinkney
C&B Books Reviewer


Not Even If You Begged
Title:Not Even If You Begged
Author: Francis Ray

When I started reading this book, I was immediately intrigued with how fluid the sentences were composed and how vividly the images came off the page. I had to stop reading and google the author's name, Francis Ray, to see why this book was so good. No wonder. With twenty novels in print, a dozen awards and various series, Francis Ray is more than a writer she is a franchise.

Not Even if You Begged is for the "grown and sexy"in the literal sense of that phrase. I'm not talking about the cute, early twenties reader that's lost in the club scene that says, "Ooooh, that's my song!" to just about anything on the DJ puts on. No, this book is geared more for the mature reader whose perspective shapes their life and not the other way around.

This book focuses on the love lives of two members of "The Invincibles" women's club - Traci Reed and Maureen Gilmore. Holding true to the title, both women have the hardest time letting love run its course, but for two very different reasons. The bad thing is that the men actually beg to love and be loved, and that's what makes this book so good!

Maureen Gilmore is a widowed Southern Belle that owns a thriving antique shop. Although her beauty is ageless, she has a hard time being comfortable with nearing sixty. This is especially true when it comes to Simon Dunlap, a police officer who was come to fall in love with Maureen. She is equally in love. Instead of following her heart, she makes a myriad of excuses such as, her inability to have children or Simon's ability to pursue a more fruitful relationship.

Traci is a full-figured, hard-nosed lawyer that runs her own PR firm. She married her ex-husband for all the wrong reasons. Everyone one of those reasons came back to do more than bite her in the end and scarred her for life. Forever burdened with emotional baggage, she had the hardest time allowing Maureen's son, OB-GYN Ryan Gilmore, into her heart for two reasons. One: she thinks she's too plump for a man of his physique and status to desire. Two: she doesn't believe she could ever fall in love again after giving her heart to a man who cheated on her.

The problem that both women face is the fact that love is love uncontrollable, mysterious and consuming. Francis Ray skillfully depicts all of the nuances of the beginning of a lifelong relationship. There's the misunderstanding, the anxiousness, the confusion, the lust...everything the reader needs to dig deep and become invested in the characters.

These two love sagas are embedded in a novel that includes a psychiatrist that stalks Ryan, a talented teen that is a budding artist but is unloved by his mother and Traci's grandfather who is struggling to keep his land from being squandered by Traci's mother.

Not Even If You Begged is the type of book that you read and lose track of time because of how in depth the story is.

Joey Pinkney
C & B Book Reviewer


Female Traits
Title:Female Traits
Author:Lurea C. McFadden
Retail Price: $12.95
C&B Price: $11.00
Publisher:Bruce Publishing

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"Oh! What a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!"
Sir Walter Scott
from Marmion, Verse 6, Stanza 17

This famous quote is played out in Lurea McFadden's debut novel, FeMALE TRAITS. Grace Trufant is married to the man most women dream of. Edwin is tall, dark and handsome. He worships the ground Grace walks on and is willing to provide for her every whim and need. Unfortunately for Edwin, he is gullible and Grace has an itch that he can't scratch...alone.

The cheating-spouse-getting-caught-in-an-extra-marital-affair saga has been told many times before, but FeMALE TRAITS puts an interesting spin on that theme.

Grace is a formidable combination: a seasoned player, a sex addict, a forward-thinking liar...and a female. Grace's lust for sexual encounters with other men outweighs her conscience, so she stays on the prowl and fabricates lies to stay one step ahead of both her husband and her lover. The once smooth road of infidelity gets bumpy, and Grace finds herself struggling to keep her secret lifestyle from getting the best of her.

Brian Lawson starts pressuring Grace to commit to him and end her six-year marriage to Edwin. Brian is young, handsome and attractive. He even considers himself to be a player and has his pick of women. But he meets his match in Grace and does the one thing all players think will never happen - fall in love. Will he move up in status or move on?

Edwin's best friend is Sonia James, a Latina sister that truly has Edwin's best interests at heart. She's been down since they were in elementary school. To Grace's dismay, Edwin and Sonia as close as a man and a woman can get without being intimate or married.

Women's intuition keeps Grace in Sonia's thoughts. Although she secretly fell in love with Edwin, she remains true to their friendship. Plus, she's dealing with her inability to commit to Phil, a man who truly loves her but can't keep her interest.

When mutual friends of Brian and Sonia unknowingly brings everyone together at a birthday/holiday party, everything comes to a head.

Lies are exposed...

Truths come to light...

And relationships are put to the test...

The rest of the story (and there is much, much more)! is yours to read. Enjoy.

Joey Pinkney
C&B Books Reviewer


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